An external evaluation of seven educational programs authorized by the 2017 Nevada Legislature was released Tuesday and recommends continued funding for all programs.
The education initiatives were proposed during Gov. Sandoval’s administration were approved by Nevada lawmakers. The programs were granted funding under the condition that their progress would be evaluated externally.
Data from the programs was independently collected and analyzed to inform policymakers of the progress of each program. The evaluation cited positive outcomes in each one of the seven programs and recommended continued funding.
Here are the programs that have been recommended for additional funding:
- The Zoom program, which serves schools with a large population of English Language Learner students. In 2017, Clark County and Washoe County school districts each had 10 Zoom schools at or below the lowest quartile. With additional funding, CCSD reduced that number to three elementary and two middle schools while WCSD now has two elementary and one middle school.
- The Victory Schools program, which serves schools with the greatest poverty rates. According to the evaluation, Victory Schools in CCSD and WCSD are outperforming comparable groups with similar demographic profiles. The three high schools that received Victory funding showed a graduation increase.
- The Read by Grade 3 program, which demonstrated positive impacts on struggling students and improved student literacy and met its initial goals, according to the evaluation.
- The Nevada Ready 21 program, which aims to support emerging technology education, and the Underperforming Schools Turnaround Program, which intervenes in low-performing schools, were both recommended for continued funding.
In an effort to improve school safety and climate the evaluation also recommends continued funding for The Social Workers in Schools program. The evaluation cited short-term positive outcomes such as changing school climate and addressing immediate health and safety-related behaviors. The evaluation argues that short-term gains from the program should have an impact on longer-term social-emotional and academic outcomes for schools.
The Great Teaching and Leading Fund was also recommended for additional funding since it provides professional development opportunities for educators.
“From the very beginning of each of these programs, we have honored our commitment in making these specific investments and holding ourselves accountable for results,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Steve Canavero. “The findings in this year’s evaluation make clear that when additional dollars support specific programs – students, families, and educators all benefit. We have work to do but the evaluation findings are another indicator that our education system is improving.”